Innovative technology developed in Geelong is designed to make it easier for local producers to get the best from their farms.
Deakin-based startup STRUT (Seamless Technology Ready to Use and Transform) have devised a smart system that tracks soil moisture, soil temperature, air temperature and humidity.
The system uses sensor nodes that plug directly into the ground to collect information about soil and air conditions. The information is sent to a central database where users can view regular updates on any device connected to the internet.
The data collected by STRUT's smart system provides valuable insights to help increase water efficiency and enhance climate resilience.
This gives farmers and producers access to real-time information about their crops, supporting informed decision-making about the best way to manage water use and respond to bad weather and other unfavourable growing conditions.
The project aligns with the community-led vision for Greater Geelong to be internationally recognised as a clever and creative city-region. It supports the clever and creative aspirations for Greater Geelong to be a leader in developing and adopting technology, and developing and implementing sustainable solutions.
The clever, user focused technology is an example of using creativity and innovation to build more sustainable, resilient, inclusive communities. This is our key commitment as a UNESCO City of Design.
Find out more about STRUT
Support for the project
STRUT's smart soil monitoring project is an innovative response to climate change that has attracted support from local industry and government stakeholders.
The STRUT team worked with Boundary Bend Olives and Leura Park to field test the new system and received very positive feedback.
Boundary Bend Olives
STRUT's system has helped us to monitor soil moisture and other environmental conditions at various sites around the olive grove more effectively than manual techniques, and has the potential to help us make better informed decisions in regards to irrigation.
Leura Park Estate
This new technology is much better than our previous system. The accessibility of the data is extremely valuable.
The project is supported by Cleantech Innovations Geelong, a business and industry program funded through the Victorian Government, the Geelong Manufacturing Council and the City of Greater Geelong to develop markets for clean technologies. Find out more about Cleantech Innovations Geelong
STRUT's system uses the City of Greater Geelong Smart City Office’s Long Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN) to transfer information. Access to the Smart City LoRaWAN is free and available for anyone wanting to explore and understand the internet of things. Find out more about Smart City
The internet of things
STRUT's smart soil monitoring technology is an internet of things (IoT) project. IoT connects everyday objects to the internet so they can be used to gather data and monitor trends.
IoT is becoming more and more common – most of us use (or know somebody who uses) a fitness tracker or a smart phone. STRUT's soil monitoring system works like a fitness tracker for farms.
Other examples of IoT on farms include livestock sensors that notify farmers when animals have escaped or become isolated, and self-driving remoted-controlled tractors that reduce labour costs.
Watch Agriculture Victoria's short video to find out more about IoT on farms.